Genome sequence of a diabetes-prone rodent Sequencing the genome of the sand rat, a desert rodent susceptible to nutritionally induced diabetes, revealed an unusual chromosome region skewed toward G and C nucleotides. This region includes the Pdx1 homeobox gene, a transcriptional activator of insulin, which has undergone massive sequence change, likely contributing to diabetes and adaptation to low caloric intake, implying that mutation rate varies within a genome and that hotspots of high mutation rate may influence ecological adaptation and constraint.


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